By Angry Old American – May 30, 2022
Copyright Angry Old American, March 30th, 2022. All Rights Reserved.
Prices for everything are going up. Soaring costs are happening because of “King Super MAGA” Donald Trump and Russia’s invasion of Ukraine; or so goes the official White House narrative. Meanwhile, Congress passed another multi-Trillion dollar “Infrastructure” Bill; with billions of dollars in “Infrastructure” earmarked for “Undocumented Citizens” flooding across our Southern Border at 9,000+ per day. Joe Biden just signed a new “Lend Lease” Act that provides Ukraine with a blank check for military equipment. Not to worry; America is made of money, and if we don’t have it ready to spend, then we print it. The American People are rich, and YOU can afford to pay the price. You will pay that price at the gas pump, the grocery store, and for every manufactured good you purchase at the big-box stores or online; if you can even find what you want.
Warnings have come from official sources for over a year that this day would come; and even the censors and liars in mainstream media have been forced to report it. Some of us have acted, while some have ignored the warnings and sat on the sidelines.
What happens when everybody consumes, and only a small fraction of people work because of Pandemic-related lock-downs and mandates?
It wasn’t rocket science to see this supply shortage and hyperinflation coming.
Prices for the groceries start to increase daily. You also notice that that instead of shelves being packed deep with cans, jars and boxes of food, there is a line of SINGLE items at the front of the shelf with NOTHING behind!
A. You should spend little at the store and save your money so you can afford to keep buying when items are more expensive.
B. You should buy only the least expensive items, and save your money so you can continue to buy when the costs go up.
C. You should buy as many non-perishable items that you use on a regular basis to avoid paying more later.
D. You should withdraw a prudent amount of savings in order to buy the items you will absolutely need in the future to avoid paying more.
Hyperinflation is not new to this world. We have all heard the horror stories of 100%, 1,000%, 10,000%, 100,000% and even 1,000,000% inflation rates, currencies denominated in the billions and trillions, and wheelbarrow loads of cash being spent for a loaf of bread. The most famous example was the German Wiemar Republic, where the exchange rate started at four Marks to the US Dollar and ended at over a trillion Marks to the Dollar. Recently, in Socialist Venezuela, we saw that very scenario play-out in real time. Venezuelans were reduced to eating pets and zoo animals; and even robbing garbage trucks for scraps of food.
This past month I have seen two neighbors lose their homes. For many people, these are desperate times. A quick look in the Newspaper shows “Public Notices” filling over half the “Classifieds” section with foreclosure notices. Meanwhile, rental costs have gone through the roof while Blackrock, Bill Gates and other institutional investors outbid average families for the ever decreasing inventory of homes and apartment complexes.
These are tough times that have not been experienced since the Great Depression of the 1930s. In the words of Franklin Delano Roosevelt “When you are at the end of your rope; tie a knot in it and hang-on!”
If you are part of our Community’s privileged elite Government Managers, drawing a salary of over a quarter million dollars a year, then your priorities are different than those of us in the “Unwashed Masses.”
“What is the next resort vacation destination?” “How big is the largest high definition TV with surround sound, and how soon can it be delivered?” “When will my new Mercedes SUV arrive?”
The rest of us have our own priorities; like food, fuel and clothing, paying utility bills and keeping a roof over our heads. Now, more than ever before, it is important to review our Budgets. What are our priorities, and what do we actually NEED to survive?
I was blessed to be raised by parents who lived through the Great Depression of the 1930s. I was taught to make do, to do it myself, and to squeeze every penny til it screamed.
This is not an article for fat-dumb-and-happy government workers drawing $100,000+ salaries. These tips are for the average Joe or Jane driven to near bankruptcy by the rising cost of living.
When monthly bills are too high to be paid, we have a choice; either find extra income, or cut expenses. Some of you are already working two or three part time jobs and just barely scraping-by. I’ve been there. Forty years ago, after my GI Bill was exhausted, I worked a full-time job, attended Army Reserve drills one weekend a month, and carried a full-load of classes til I graduated. I also routinely worked 90+ hour work weeks at three part-time jobs during lean times, taking any job that would pay the bills. If this is the case for you, and you still can’t make ends meet, then the only solution is to make necessary budget cuts.
Perhaps you already know what is sinking your financial ship. Addictions to gambling, drugs or alcohol, entertainment, or buying everything in sight have driven more than one Joe and Jane into bankruptcy and homelessness. If this is the case; seeking help through a recovery program would be the first order of business.
Maybe you are a single parent with kids and either working a job or on public support. Perhaps you are old and on a fixed income, like Social Security or a Pension. If so, sit down with your bills and prioritize your NEEDS and WANTS.
What do you NEED to survive? When it comes to setting priorities, you must start with legitimate needs. Water, food, shelter, energy, waste disposal and emergency communications will keep you alive.
If you NEED transportation for a job, then it might be necessary to budget for a new pair of walking shoes, a bicycle, public transportation (if available), car-pool costs, or a vehicle of your own; whichever you can afford.
You may NEED homeowner’s insurance under the terms of your mortgage, or for your vehicle by law. However, other forms of insurance should be decided by the odds of calamity versus your immediate everyday survival needs.
Things that you WANT are not necessarily things that you NEED. You may want a fancy Smart-phone with an expensive calling and internet plan, but if your survival were at stake; do you really need it? Until I was six years old, my family had a “Party Line” shared with several other homes because a “Private Line” was too expensive. We used the phone for important business, and did not gab unless we wanted the whole world to know, because others on the line routinely eavesdropped. Leisure travel and entertainment are luxuries that both fall into the category WANTS.
“I NEED a portable cellular phone to carry with me in case of emergency.”
Great, but in this day and age; couldn’t you just ask someone else to make the call? If you are alone, and are being mugged or otherwise assaulted in a public place, would you actually be in a position to make the emergency call yourself anyway? Better to invest in a whistle, alarm, taser or pepper-spray than a cellphone. The money saved after a year could buy a nice firearm and pay for a concealed carry permit. If you were injured in a traffic accident, would you be in a position to make a 911 call? Perhaps if you were conscious and had use of your limbs and faculties. Granted, if your car broke down; you might need a tow; it would then be CONVENIENT not to ask for help from a stranger. Thus, a cheap off-the-shelf, discardable prepaid pay-by-the-minute phone in the glove box could be a good solution.
Fixed expenses are those that are often the same each month and cannot be influenced by your consumption habits. Rent or mortgage payments are fixed expenses.
Variable expenses are those which you can control through your consumption habits. Using a previous example; the expensive smart-phone package can be swapped for a bare-bones landline phone with “Life-Line” discount, and the one-time cost of a discardable emergency only Trak-Phone for the road.
Another issue that must be addressed is CONVENIENCE! Our modern culture revolves around microwave oven, vacuum packed, ready to eat, hop in the car, drive-thru, fast-food, order-online, delivered to your door, Google-it, scan-it, swipe-click and hook-up Convenience!
All of this convenience costs us plenty of cash; and the prices rise each month as the costs raw materials, energy and of labor providing the services increase. With convenience comes spare-time. Travel and entertainment to fill that extra time adds even more expense.
Is your time worth more than money; or is money worth more than your time?
Time versus Money is the balancing act that we all face. Certainly a Single Mother with several kids, working one or more jobs, needs all the convenience and spare time that she can get. Sometimes it is hard to determine whether time or money are most important.
Our spare time and convenience have largely been financed by Robotic Factories and Chinese Communist Party slave labor. It is cheaper to buy items mass-manufactured by robotic machines or another country’s political and ethnic prisoners. It is cheaper to import goods than buy-domestic; or even to do-it-ourselves. It is cheaper for farmers to send chickens to China for slaughter, butchering, packaging and return shipping; than it is to hire American workers to do the same work. However, those days are coming to an end. Thanks to the Covid-19 bio-weapon pandemic, Chinese manufactures and ports are shutting down. Money is now chasing what few import products are available.
At the same time, we must also address the possibility of War, and the impact that it will have upon our lives and finances. The financial powers that rule this world would not be investing in non-stop mainstream media news coverage of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine if they did not want war. Propaganda, including plenty of images focused on displaced and bloodied elderly women, children, puppies and kittens fill the news with horror 24/7. Chances are good that we will have war, and most probably World War III; perhaps even thermonuclear war. All of this comes at a time of “The Great Financial Reset,” and the decline of the US Dollar as the world’s reserve currency. Expect imported commodities and goods to become even more expensive. This Country has also been cursed with the domestic Corporate-Communist government blight of “Entitlements,” “Reparations,” and the criminal religion of envy.
Supply chains are collapsing, factories are closing because they cannot get parts or materials, and people who want to work are getting laid off because products cannot be built. Transportation, mining and farming businesses that cannot buy repair parts are forced to cannibalize out-of-service equipment for used parts.
Diesel shortages are causing regional trucking delays. Some rural areas cannot find fuel at all, as scarce fuel is funneled to large cities.
Emergency Services are eroding because of scarce supplies, and we are increasingly on-our-own. China still provides over 90% of American medications, and also a bulk of our bandages, medical tubing and other supplies. Those materials are no longer arriving. Many police departments find ammunition for periodic qualifications to be absent because Russia was a major ammunition manufacturer and exporter to the United States.
Thus the conundrum; how can we hope to survive shortages of goods and skyrocketing prices, while both wages and convenience are stretched to the limit?
Having been raised in a life of want and lack of convenience, I established important disciplines as a child. One of the most important lessons I learned in my youth was “Never discard anything that can be put to use.” In other words “Waste-Not, Want-Not.” Thanks to what I was taught, I may have known want for luxuries, but I never knew NEED.
Why spend money on food-grade emergency plastic water containers when empty soft-drink bottles will serve the same function? Can plastic food containers be put to other uses? Is it better to recycle empty food cans or make them into candle-lanterns, make-shift intruder alarms, hobo pots; or perhaps even burn away the plastic coating and leave to rust in order to add iron to your garden soil? Maybe consider using that cast-away cardboard for “No-Till” gardening mulch than tossing it out. Maybe burn it in your fireplace in the Winter to stay warm. Know that all resources will soon be in low supply. Things you discard today will either be absent or cost a pretty penny in the not-too-distant future.
As for needs:
You can live three minutes without air.
You can live a few hours in temperature extremes capable of hypothermia or heat-stroke.
You can live up to three days without water.
You can live up to a month, and possibly more without food.
It is said that “We are all only nine meals away from Anarchy.” Three days without food will lead the average Urban American Joe or Jane to desperate measures. In the United States, a vast majority have never known true hunger. After three days, the hunger actually goes away, and our bodies begin to consume fat, muscle and other organs in order to maintain basic functions. It is rare to see anybody but an intentional anorexic suffering from severe malnutrition in America; all skin and bones and perhaps a distended belly.
Yet, times of hunger and need are coming our way.
Our communities in Del Norte County have ample resources to thrive through the coming hunger. Make use of ALL your food producing resources. Growing a garden? Is your back yard too cramped to grow what you need? Unless you eat grass, consider replacing your front lawn with food crops. Consider vertical gardening with trellises in order to take advantage of available space. No back yard or front yard? Consider planting in five gallon buckets on your porch. No porch? Consider growing micro-greens in a discarded plastic tray placed on your windowsill. No windowsill or home? Consider getting community garden space, sharecropping for those who have land, or growing sprouts in jars and learning wild plants to forage!
During the desperate times ahead, if you invest an hour of time to earn enough money to buy a single tomato; and it takes an hour of time to grow a ten tomatoes; what is the smart thing to do?
Each March or April, the threat of frost subsides in Del Norte County, and it is time to safely plant vegetables and fruits in an outdoor garden.
You will need seeds. Co-op with family, friends and neighbors and buy bulk if you can. Heirloom seeds are best because you can let them go to seed and save them for next year. Learn how to propagate seeds, tubers and cuttings. Learn how to save seeds from what you grow.
You will need Sunlight or full-spectrum grow lights. Some plants need full light, while others need partial light or shade. Plant only what will grow in the available light source, If growing indoors, full-spectrum LED lights are most cost efficient. However all LEDs are from China, and may not be available much longer if war breaks out. Growing indoors during Winter with a hydroponic seed starting system will give you a head-start in the Spring.
You will need Water. Water can come from your community water source, which will add to your expense. Water can be captured from rain and kept in barrels til needed. Water can also be harvested from moist air with a “Fog Harp.” You will also need watering hoses and sprinklers, soaker hoses, or drip irrigation systems. In a pinch, remember that our ancestors made-do with simple irrigation trenches or watering buckets.
You will need a growing medium. Soil is the traditional growing medium. That soil will need to be weeded and conditioned prior to planting.
When weeding, be mindful that your garden is full of wild foods that most consider to be weeds. Here is a list of “Weed” treats that I commonly find in my own garden: Broadleaf Burdock, Cat’s Ear and its look-alike Dandelion, Fever-Few, Nipple-Wort, and Sow Thistle. Along with these are many domestic “Volunteers” dropped by birds or blown by the wind. There are also Tri-Corner Leeks, a wild onion that I have purposely propagated and harvest every winter and spring. Don’t forget to harvest the many ornamental plants, like Nasturtiums and Fuchsia berries, for their medicinal and food properties.
Organic material in the form of compost should be mixed into your soil in order to boost nitrogen-fixing bacteria that feed your plants. A good mix is 50% compost to 50% soil. Eggshells and crushed bones can be added to increase calcium. Silage from beans and peas will increase soil nitrogen. You can also rotate plant clover and work it into the soil for nitrogen.
Add pots to your list for a container garden. These pots need not be purchased. Old discarded and salvaged 5 gallon buckets can be cleaned and retrofitted for the task of growing food. Household plastic containers from the trash can also fit the task. Used plastic pastry and deli chicken containers even have domes that are handy to prevent young plant starts from freezing during an occasional Spring frost.
You can also use water as a growing medium for Hydroponics. This will require containers, pumps, filters and fertilizer in order to work properly.
“Permaculture” combines growing plants and fish in a pond together, or pumping fish waste to irrigate other parts of the garden. The fish waste provides food for plants, which can be grown similar to Hydroponics in retrofitted plastic beverage containers. Bug Zappers suspended above the pond provide stunned flying insects for the fish, and compost piles provide excess bugs and worms. I do not use insecticides, and prefer to pick predatory insects by hand; yet another source of protein for fish and animals. Most fish will require pumped air, with catfish requiring the least amount of oxygen. The prehistoric Catfish in a 50 gallon barrel can survive from adding five gallons of fresh water, while draining a similar amount each day.
You will need fertilizer to feed your growing plants. Fertilizer will be very hard to come by because most comes from Russia and Ukraine, and what is available will be expensive in the future. However you can make your own fertilizer through Composting.
Most any organic material can be composted. Compost can be made from lawn and garden trimmings, kitchen scraps, animal dung, feathers, and hair. In Asia a process known as “Bokashi” is used to compost bone, fat and meat. Bokashi mixes lactobacillus (whey) with straw or wood chips which is mixed with animal byproducts. At the end of a month, the mix is ready to go straight into the ground.
In first world countries like the United States it is illegal in most areas to compost human dung. There are some jurisdictions that allow composting toilets; and these toilets have become common fixtures in many National Park restrooms. Farmers in third world countries regularly compost human feces in wood chips or silage along with acidic lactobacillus. Once fully composted, this human dung compost is added directly to crops. However, to avoid any possibility of disease, it is recommended that composted human dung be added to ornamental plants, and then the trimmings of these plants be added to your regular compost pile for use on edibles.
Urine is always separated from dung during composting. For centuries, urine was concentrated in one location, and either ammonium or potassium nitrate crystals (Salt-Peter) leached from that soil to make gunpowder and fertilizers. This is another option available during emergencies to this day.
Once compost is obtained, it can be made into a liquid “Compost Tea.” The active bacteria and nutrients of this Compost Tea can be extended to much larger volumes by adding sugar and whey while pumping air into the mix in a 5 gallon bucket overnight.
You should get started now. Everything is going up in price, and more people are getting their own gardens ready to grow. Don’t wait until it is too late to assemble all your seeds and supplies.
If you do not have a clue what to do, explore garden online tutorial topics on YouTube. Get a good gardening book. Ask neighbors who have a green-thumb how to get started. I routinely start enough tomato plants to share freely with neighbors and friends, and often have leftovers for others. I also allow people to take cuttings from my plants so they can start their own.
The longer you wait, the longer it will take to see results.
Sprouts grown on your kitchen counter can be ready to harvest in a few days.
Micro-greens, clipped with shears at a few inches height like a lawn, can be ready in a couple of weeks.
You can start trimming salad leaves from fast growing greens, like lettuce and kale, in a month.
Most other plants will take from 45 to 140 days depending on the variety. Seed packets will provide planting tips along with germination and harvest times.
Our concept of vegetable food has been spoiled by store-bought vegetables. In practice, it is imprudent to harvest a complete plant. I hardly ever eat garlic bulbs, but liberally prune and eat the leaves and flowetettes of the plants. The same holds true of my other vegetables. I harvest leaves from beets, lettuce, kale, and spinach; while allowing the roots to replenish the plant throughout the season.
The late Audrey Hepburn poignantly stated “To plant a Garden is to Believe in Tomorrow.”
Be an inspiration to others. Let us know how your garden grows!
For now, get right with God, and find your purpose during these times of deprivation and Tribulation. Know that you are not the only one who is experiencing hardships. There are people in the same situation as you, and plenty of those who have it even worse.
Know also that there are plenty of “Wise Guys” that are too smart to heed any of this advice. They know that only chumps work hard and live a moral existence. They believe it is better to play and party for now, and later take what they want from those who worked hard for it. Certainly, in Urban California, the “Law” and “Government” are 100% behind this philosophy. Also remember that few States have acknowledged the right of their citizens to grow their gardens for food “Right To Food.” The same holds true for water, as many States do not allow water harvesting or storage.
Let us all hope that we can reform our local predatory governments in order to protect our Constitutional Rights, including free speech, self-defense, and private property; including our garden food and harvested rain water.
If this article was useful, then send comments and more may follow. As mentioned in an earlier article, Shit Has Hit The Fan (SHTF), and I have been struggling to get my final preparations complete. If there is enough interest, I will use my physical break-time for additional articles like this. If there isn’t enough interest, then I encourage those few who see the need to explore the resources below. Most of these Prepper Channels on YouTube covered all of the basics in years gone by, and are simply providing updates about our slide into social decline and mayhem, along with the dire need to get ready. Be prepared to dig back into practical how-to videos of the past. NEVER pay for Prepper training. You will find plenty of free information online.
Prepper Princess is a channel devoted to living on next to nothing. She wrote a book devoted to this subject.
Southern Prepper One is a channel dedicated to small and large homesteaders. Being a military veteran, with kids in active service, he also has insights relevant to current events. Most recent posts are related to the breakdown of the US supply chain.
Appalachia’s Homestead with Patara is a practical down-to-earth homesteader prepper Channel than emphasizes the full range of skills to STRUGGLE for self-sufficiency. If you tire of bullshit fantasy homestead stories that are full of unicorns and fairy-dust, then this is a good place to get a dose of reality.
Full Spectrum Survival is another Channel devoted to small homesteaders and strategies for getting off-grid. Most recent posts relate to news related to war and the breakdown of our supply chain.
City Prepper provides information tailored to people living in an urban environment. Those living in apartments would be well served by this channel.
Canadian Prepper provides information geared toward those off-grid and for hard-core survivalists. He also sells high quality survival gear mail-order.
Poplar Preparedness is a Christian Prepper site. Most recent posts have been related to transportation and supply chain malfunctions, and also the rash of mysterious fires at food and recycling plants.
The links above will provide a good start for those with an interest in prepping. Since the beginning of the Covid Pandemic, when everybody became a Prepper, the Internet has been filled with such sites. You can find just about any subject you want with a simple keyword search.
First, some words of caution before you begin your online exploration. Preppers are not “Politically Correct” during the Biden Administration. We are all supposed to have complete faith that the government will look after us all, no matter what the circumstances, and irregardless of evidence to the contrary. Due to current legislation from the “January 6th Commission,” Preppers have been lumped into the “White Supremacist, MAGA, Patriot Extremist, Terrorist” crowd and are subject to being tracked by the Department of Homeland Security, and possibly even profiled at terrorists by the FBI. Be sure that you follow the bare-minimum of Operational Security (OPSEC). Always use a Virtual Private Network (VPN) to discourage tracking. Some Antivirus programs, like McAfee, provide a VPN with their security program; otherwise you can buy VPN coverage for a couple dollars a month. The other tip is to only use search engines that do not track your searches. Ixquick Safe Search and DuckDuckGo are safe, while Google, Yahoo and Bing will whore out your data to the highest bidder. Also avoid Facebook like the plague.
Wishing all the best in your preparations. Do not be too quick to embrace other preppers into your group. Avoid disclosing your preps or plans to those who are not properly vetted and those you do not trust completely. Learn to establish boundaries of trust. Loose lips sink ships!